Hidden Barriers to Happiness Blog

Have you always wondered about the invisible forces that affect your health, wealth and happiness?

As a neuroscientist, and then neuro and nutritional epidemiologist, I researched the underlying causes of mental and health problems.  Now as a Holistic Brain Health Practitioner, I regularly make new discoveries while working with clients.

Curious?   Sign up to get my Top 10 Tips for a Happy & Healthy Brain.  You’ll also get 2-4 newsletters month about the hidden barriers that get in the way of the life you really want!

What are you waiting for?  Knowledge is power!

How Ancestral Trauma and Behavior Affect Us

Posted by on Aug 15, 2018 in behavior, epigenetics | 0 comments

How Ancestral Trauma and Behavior Affect Us

A client of mine has Parkinson’s disease.  While eliminating underlying causes, we discovered she had repressed anger that she had inherited from her great-grandmother.   In asking questions of her subconscious, I got that her great-grandmother was angry about her illness.  I then discovered her great-grandfather shared the same ancestral trauma around his wife’s illness.  My client who had traced her ancestry then revealed  (more…)

Why It is So Important to Take the Time to Just Be

Posted by on Jul 30, 2018 in healthy brain, mental health, stress | 0 comments

Why It is So Important to Take the Time to Just Be

My friend practices Vipassana meditation and is off to a meditation retreat this weekend.  He invited me to go, but I still have a lot of unpacking to do, and I don’t feel like I can get away for a whole weekend.

This conflict remind me of the conflict between being vs. doing.

I used to be hyper focused on doing.  My list of things to do has always been longer than I have had time to complete.   But because I didn’t take the time to renew, I wasn’t enjoying life, and I wasn’t very productive while working.

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A Most Unusual Underlying Cause of Disorganization

Posted by on Jul 15, 2018 in healthy brain, organizing | 0 comments

A Most Unusual Underlying Cause of Disorganization

My client was a successful professional organizer.  I had known her for years, and she had taken a leadership role in an organization that we were both a part of.  She had played a key role in making it run smoothly   So I was surprised to see that on the day of her appointment, she called to cancel because she had double booked her appointments.  She rescheduled, and again she had to reshuffle things, but this time she made seeing me a priority.  This was not the organized professional I knew her to be!

In her session, I asked about what was going on, and why she was struggling with organizing, and she confessed to feeling particularly scatterbrained lately.  She said she had really been struggling to keep her calendar straight over the last few weeks, and that it was interfering with her ability to do her job.   As an organizer, she said that she was in her words, “a mess” and very embarrassed about it.

We had to make addressing this a priority.  (more…)

Ten Consequences of Childhood Neglect

Posted by on Jun 30, 2018 in childhood experiences, childhood trauma, subconscious barriers | 2 comments

Ten Consequences of Childhood Neglect

Like most empaths, I have been deeply disturbed by the separation of immigrant children from their families at the border. The impact of childhood neglect can be profound.  I know this from Harlow’s research on baby monkeys, the studies of children in orphanages, by the work I’ve done with clients and my own history of neglect.   I have been worried about the lifelong psychological damage this could do to these children, the impact it will have on their ability to feel safe in this world, their ability to trust and form healthy relationships, their growth, their ability to function when they get back to school and depending on how long they are separated, their survival.

Back in the 1950’s Harry Harlow performed experiments on baby monkeys where he took them from their mothers and other infants.   These monkeys could no longer securely attach to other monkeys and their ability to socialize was severely disrupted.  If the isolation lasted beyond 90 days, the effects were irreversible.

childhood neglect at abandoned orphanagesMore recently, Nathan Fox and colleagues studied childhood neglect by comparing young children (ages 6 months to 3 years) in Bucharest who were reared in a Romanian orphanage vs. those when were put in foster homes.    In the Romanian orphanages, babies were left in cribs all day, except when fed, diapered or bathed on a set schedule.  The neglected children in orphanages had a myriad of problems, ranging from cognitive deficits, to difficulty regulating emotions, social withdrawal, low self-esteem, to tics, tantrums, and stealing,

As a healer, I’ve seen these problems with clients who’s parents were emotionally unavailable.  As for my own healing journey, I’ve become increasingly aware that my lifelong struggles which sound a lot like the Romanian orphans (minus the tics and stealing) are likely due to many years of emotional neglect that I had growing up.

Given that I use the wisdom of the subconscious to get straight to the root causes of problems, I thought it would be of interest to share what I’ve learned about the consequences of childhood neglect from my experience as a healer.

Here are 10 major consequences that I have seen of early life neglect:

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The Unbelievable Effects of Developing Resilience

Posted by on Jun 15, 2018 in beliefs, mental health, mental health tools, resilience, resiliency, The Body Code | 0 comments

The Unbelievable Effects of Developing Resilience

So far, 2018 has dealt me with one punch in the gut after another. It began with the end of my relationship with my boyfriend who I was crazy about.  It has been full of problems with housemates, stress from a law from the EU that could destroy my business, friendships falling apart, stress from more work that I could handle, loneliness, and despair about having to move out of my beloved home.

I was feeling beaten up, run down, hopeless and quite depressed.  I was feeling like a victim to life.  In the midst of all this happening, I developed a giant and painful cyst on my back that needed regular attending to, but was extremely hard to reach.   The recommendations from my naturopath were helping, but the progress was far too slow, and I was having to consider surgical removal.

In trying to address the cyst, I discovered the metaphysical underpinnings.  The questions I got were, “What will it take to stop feeling sorry for myself?  And “What will it take to accept my life as a learning experience and look forward with hope?”

“Wow! “ I thought.. “how timely!”

In pondering these questions, I realized that I need to do a better job of bouncing back!  I needed to release barriers to building resilience.

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3 Reasons Why We Need to Limit Our Sugar Intake

Posted by on May 30, 2018 in addictions, behavior, healthy habits, sugar | 0 comments

3 Reasons Why We Need to Limit Our Sugar Intake

You’ve definitely heard it before – too much sugar isn’t good for you. Yet for some reason cutting down and monitoring your sugar intake can require a lot of self-discipline.   While most of us know that too much sugar isn’t good for us, the reasons why are nebulous at best to most.  That is we I invited certified nutritionist, Kelli Wike, to tell us more about why we need to limit our sugar intake.

Kelli Wike has a degree inNutritional Science from Bastyr University, and has been working with clients for 20 years with her company Transformation Mission.

Dr  Tina:   Welcome Kelli Wike, and thank you for joining me!

Kelli:  I’m delighted to be here!

Types Of Sugars That Have Negative Effects On The Body

Dr. Tina:  Sugar is often many people’s weak spots – including my own. I’m sure you’ve all had that sugary craving where you reach for a chocolate bar to get that quick energy boost but as you are all probably aware, there are several types of sugars. They all interact with the body in different ways.  Some are better for you than others.   So Kelli, could you tell us more about the types of sugars?

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A Simple Answer to Memory Loss

Posted by on May 22, 2018 in healthy brain, memory, The Body Code | 0 comments

A Simple Answer to Memory Loss

My elderly client came to me deeply concerned about her short term memory loss.  She would find that in casual conversations, she would forget important things that she was told just 2 minutes ago.  While planning simple trips (like going to the doctor), she would find that she had to keep making her plans over and over because she had forgotten what she originally had planned to do. She was also struggling with spelling words that had never given her trouble before, like “guilt”.  She would frequently have these “can’t think” moments.  She was worried that these could be signs of dementia.

Luckily, we discovered (more…)

5 Mindset Shifts For Healthy Relationships

Posted by on May 15, 2018 in forgive, healthy, relationships | 0 comments

5 Mindset Shifts For Healthy Relationships

Many of us struggle with having healthy relationships. No matter how hard I work on my relationships, at some point, I’ll run into conflicts. I can’t always save the relationship because it takes two for it to work, but I always learn from my experiences and strive to do better. Because I have struggled with my relationships for so many years, I’ve learned a lot.  So I thought I’d share some of my favorite  mindset shifts for healthy relationships that have helped me over the years.

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From Unsanitary to Motivation to Clean!

Posted by on May 8, 2018 in habits, healthy habits, motivation, motivation to clean, sabotage | 0 comments

From Unsanitary to Motivation to Clean!

I had a client that came to me for a variety of issues. After listing a number of things she wanted to work on, we asked her subconscious where to start. I got that we needed to work on something that she had not listed. I discovered that we needed to increase her motivation to clean, and then she let me know why that came up.

She had a pet that wasn’t toilet trained and she did not clean up after her.  She had not cleaned her place since her husband left her a year ago!   There was mold, feces and urine everywhere and she didn’t seem to care even if she stepped in it!  Her habits were disturbing and unsanitary enough that her family even tried to get her institutionalized!

How did she get the motivation to clean?

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Should you exercise to prevent or reverse dementia?

Posted by on Apr 30, 2018 in Alzheimer's, Dementia, exercise, healthy brain, risk factors, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Should you exercise to prevent or reverse dementia?

Should we exercise to prevent dementia?

The answer to the latest meta analysis is showing that the data is inconclusive!

Does that mean we shouldn’t bother to exercise? No!  There are a lot benefits to exercise.

What are the benefits of exercise to the brain?

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